The Go! Team – Rolling Blackouts (Memphis Industries) 31/01/2011

February 2, 2011 by  

This third offering from Ian Parton’s Go! Team is either a much-needed dose of musical sunshine or an unwelcome visit from that relentlessly cheerful acquaintance you try to avoid. Fans of the Go! Team’s signature sound will feel completely at home as opener ‘T.O.R.N.A.D.O.’ could have sat just as comfortably on either of the previous two records with its punchy girl-chants and a catchy sampled hook full of bombastic horns. The first part of the album swings between these funky ‘calls to action’ (the in-your-face ‘Bust-Out Brigade’ stands out a mile) and painfully retro-kitsch numbers that could have been lifted straight from a Japanese pop track, a sunny 60s California demo or an old children’s science documentary (and possibly were). This is obviously classic Go! Team doing what they do best, but this album really gets interesting on the more low-key tracks.

At first, single ‘Buy Nothing Day’ is drowned out by its more flamboyant playmates, but upon repeated listens this track reveals its charm. Subtle by comparison, ‘Buy Nothing Day’ matches sunny guitars and infectious melodies with great guest vocals from Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino. Her delivery has a knowing and maturity about it that lends the track a weight that is often missing in the Go! Team’s feather-lite pop. Wobbly piano instrumental ‘Lazy Poltergeist’ maintains a child-like naiveté and takes us away from the playground for long enough to catch our breath before the opening screeches of the album’s title track kick in and take us home with more frenetic chants and loops.

The Go! Team have returned with one or two intriguing developments to their original form, but essentially this is a solid record that will satisfy appetites for more songs of Sesame Street innocence and sunny afternoons. So, are you coming out to play?

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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